Lakers 116, Timberwolves 94

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers continued their domination of the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 116-94 win on Thursday night at Staples Center.

The Lakers entered the game with a 20-game winning streak over the Timberwolves -- the biggest for one team over the same opponent -- and No. 21 was just about decided by halftime.

Behind a streaking Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles built a 10-point halftime lead and things only got better for the Lakers from there. Los Angeles extended the lead to 17 in the third quarter and led by as many as 25 points as the team shot 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.

Perhaps most important for a team that often has been stagnant on offense this season, the Lakers had six players score in double figures, 30 assists and 14 turnovers, including just five in the first half.

Bryant led the way with 33 points in three quarters, connecting on 13 of 22 from the field and 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Dwight Howard added 13 rebounds and 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Antawn Jamison paced an active Los Angeles bench with 17 points and eight rebounds as the Lakers reserves outscored Minnesota's 52-34. Jodie Meeks had 16 points off the bench and Steve Blake added 13 points, six assists and seven rebounds.

J.J. Barea led a hobbled Minnesota squad with 20 points, five assists and four rebounds off the bench. Luke Ridnour added 19 points. and Derrick Williams had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who shot 46 percent from the field.

NOTES: Both teams have been ravaged by injuries this season. Pau Gasol (torn plantar fascia) and Jordan Hill (hip) remain out for the Lakers, and Andrei Kirilenko (calf), Chase Budinger (knee), Kevin Love (hand), Brandon Roy (knee) and Malcolm Lee (knee/hip) are sidelined for the Timberwolves. ... Minnesota's losing streak against the Lakers stretches to a March 6, 2007, double-overtime win. ... Los Angeles defeated Minnesota 111-100 on Feb. 1 at the Target Center. Bryant narrowly missed a triple-double in the win and Gasol led all scorers with 22 points. ... Minnesota entered the game 15-3 when outshooting its opponent. ... Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to 29,000 points in the Lakers' win at Minnesota on March 9, 2012. ... Conversely, in the Lakers' win at Dallas on Feb. 24, Bryant became the second oldest player in NBA history to post 38 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists while shooting better than 60 percent from the field.
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